Ashley Flint, director of the Fox Valley Wildlife Center, in Elburn, bottle feeds Franklin, a two month fawn, on Monday, July 2, 2012. Franklin was brought to the center after a farmer ran over its legs with a tractor. Flint hopes to raise enough money to fit the deer with a prosthetic leg. | Michele du Vair~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 23, 2012 6:17AM
A young deer that wildlife specialists hoped to fit with a prosthetic leg has died at the Fox Valley Wildlife Center in Elburn.
The deer, which wildlife center workers had dubbed “Franklin,” died on Saturday as a result of the antibiotics used to fight an infection caused by a farming accident in May.
“Franklin touched so many lives with his endearing personality and gentle demeanor, inviting everyone to be his friend — animal and human alike,” volunteer Addie Stras said.
The center’s wildlife rehab specialists were optimistic the deer would recover after his right front leg was amputated up to the joint. Once restored to health, the deer was to be fitted first with a temporary and then permanent prosthetic leg.
The fawn arrived at the animal hospital as a 2-pound newborn missing his foot and partial hooves on his two other feet.
Stras said Franklin shared his days with the center’s resident wildlife — snuggling with Snitch, the opossum, and sharing his food with Lucy, the goose. She said the deer consented to a gentle touch from staff and volunteers, and returned the affection by licking your hand.
“He may have been small in size but his spirit was larger than life,” Stras said.
The Fox Valley Wildlife Center is a nonprofit animal hospital which gives injured and orphaned animals a second chance at life by releasing them back into the wild.
Director Ashley Flint said the center received responses from people in Australia, Switzerland and Canada who read accounts of Franklin’s story and donated funds to the center for his medical treatment.
“He helped us while we were helping him,” Flint said.
“I am sure people hoping for Franklin’s recovery will be truly sad, but at least he was able to touch their lives.”